Shropshire Star

Don't isolate children in buses - provide safe walking routes, say Ludlow campaigners

Sustainable transport campaigners have called for improvements to the road network in Ludlow so children can walk and cycle to school.

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Old Street, Ludlow. Photo: Google.

Ludlow 21 Sustainable Transport group has assessed the dangers faced by children travelling to four school sites in Ludlow and says it has identified places where road crossings are required, pavements are inadequate and traffic is too fast.

They are also calling for a default 20 mph speed limit covering the whole residential area of the town and not just in Bromfield Road.

Shropshire Council is currently consulting on unsafe walking routes to schools and plans to put a report to the ruling cabinet next month. If routes are deemed unsafe, children can be taken to school by public transport.

Ludlow 21 says it wants a different approach, for roads to be made safe so children can use them.

A spokesman for Ludlow 21 said: "It is undeniable that many Ludlow children face danger from fast moving traffic during their journey to and from school.

"But surely the solution to avoiding these dangers is not to isolate children in buses but to provide safe walking infrastructure!

"The Government is energetically promoting Active Travel, and Shropshire schools are or will be encouraging their pupils to walk or cycle."

The spokesman added: "It appears counter-intuitive to be considering measures to put children in buses which increase road traffic and all its associated pollution and deny the opportunity to engage in healthy active travel!"

The group says Ludlow needs designated pedestrian crossings to keep children safe; for example at in Old Street for children crossing to St Laurence’s Primary.

In its presentation to the council, the campaign group says: "The main issue impacting the safety of children journeying to Ludlow schools is speeding traffic."

They and the town council continue to call for the whole of Ludlow’s residential areas to be classified as 20mph zones.

They group adds: "20mph speed limits are known to improve safety for all road users, especially children and those with mobility issues, but they also reduce noise and air pollution, increase healthy travel modes - walking, cycling etc - and are a much less expensive method of controlling traffic for councils.

"It also enables excessive and ugly signage to be removed so increasing the attractiveness of our medieval town.

"Providing safer transportation to schools should not be necessary for children able to walk or cycle to school and so, once again we make a plea for Ludlow to have safe speed limits as implemented by other local authorities and designated crossing points wherever necessary."

A spokesman for Shropshire Council said any comments about road safety will be passed to the relevant team.

He added: "Shropshire Council has a statutory duty under the Education Act 1996 to provide home-to-school transport for eligible children, that is those who ‘cannot reasonably be expected to walk to their nearest suitable school because the nature of the route is deemed unsafe to walk’.

“We encourage all interested parties to submit their comments as part of the consultation, which runs until February 10.

“We have already received a detailed response from Ludlow 21 and this will be carefully considered along with all other responses to the consultation, before a report with recommended next steps is presented to the council’s cabinet in March.

"Any comments that relate to road safety will be passed to our road safety team.”

To comment on the council's 'extremely hazardous routes policy' visit

For more information on Ludlow21 visit